Greece, Latvia and Andorra to be included in red category. Malta to be dark red

The Ministry of Health has updated the list of countries ranked by the risk of contagion on the basis of available data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). From Monday, 8 March on, Greece, Latvia and Andorra will be moving to the red category. Malta will be moving to the dark red category and the Balearics will, on the contrary, be categorised as yellow.

When returning from countries in the dark red category, which Malta is now included in, it will be obligatory for travellers to complete an arrival form and submit a PCR test result before entering the Czech Republic. Antigen tests may be at most 24 hours old. PCR tests may be at most 72 hours old. It will then be obligatory to take a second PCR test in the Czech Republic, no sooner than 5 days after arrival. Until the second negative test is submitted, self-isolation is required. This is a category of countries with a very high risk of COVID-19 incidence. This category includes countries in the European Union and third countries which are not included in any of the other categories.

Greece, Latvia and Andorra will now be included in the red category. The category already includes Belgium, Bulgaria, France (except overseas territories), Italy, Ireland, Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Hungary, Netherlands (except overseas territories), Poland, Portugal and Madeira, Austria, Romania, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and the Canary Islands. Before returning from these countries, it is obligatory for travellers to submit the result of an antigen or PCR test and to complete an arrival form. Once again, the antigen tests may be at most 24 hours old and the PCR tests 72 hours old. At the latest 5 days after their arrival, every traveller is also obliged to undertake a PCR test. Until then, they must remain in self-isolation. 

Travellers returning to the Czech Republic from countries in the yellow category must complete an arrival form before returning and also submit the result of an antigen test (no more than 24 hours old) or PCR test (no more than 72 hours old). This category already includes Finland, Denmark, Norway, the Azores and now also the Balearic Islands.

For countries in dark red, red and yellow categories, employees and students are also obliged to submit the test results to their employer or the school where they study.

On preventive grounds, persons returning from countries in the yellow, red and dark red categories are obliged to wear a surgical mask, ideally a respirator, for a period of fourteen days everywhere outside their homes. Even when moving around outdoors.

The traffic light system also includes the category of green countries where none of these obligations apply. This category currently includes Iceland, Vatican City and, from the non-EU countries, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.

Given the incidence of new mutations of the COVID-19 disease and the community transmission across Europe, the ECDC recommends that all persons postpone their travel unless absolutely essential. The Ministry of Health is also reacting to the occurrence of the South African mutation of the coronavirus. Due to the possible spread of this variant of the virus, effective as of 26 February, the Ministry of Health has prohibited travel to countries with an extremely high risk of the spread of this mutation. This specifically concerns Botswana, Brazil, Swaziland, the Republic of South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

A list of countries according to risk of infection can be found here.